Unique, beautifully written and ceaselessly imaginative, The Flavor Thesaurus is a completely new kind of food book-inspired, as author Niki Segnit explains, by her over-reliance on recipes. "Following the instructions in a recipe is like parroting pre-formed sentences from a phrasebook. Forming an understanding of how flavors work together, on the other hand, is like learning the language: it allows you to express yourself freely, to improvise, to cook a dish the way you want to cook it."
The Flavor Thesaurus is the inquisitive cook's guide to acquiring that understanding-to learning the language of flavor.
Breaking the vast universe of ingredients down to 99 essential flavors, Segnit suggests classic and less well-known pairings for each, grouping almost 1,000 entries into flavor families like "Green & Grassy," "Berry & Bush" and "Creamy Fruity." But The Flavor Thesaurus is much more than just a reference book, seasoning the mix of culinary science, culture and expert knowledge with the author's own insights and opinions, all presented in her witty, engaging and highly readable style. As appealing to the novice cook as to the experienced professional, The Flavor Thesaurus will not only immeasurably improve your cooking-it's the sort of book that might keep you up at night reading.
Cooking is an art, like writing or painting, and great cooks are artists. And although the ultimate source of creativity remains elusive, all painters have their color wheel, all writers their vocabulary. And now, in the form of this beautiful, entertaining and exhaustively researched book, cooks have their own collection of essential knowledge: The Flavor Thesaurus.
About the Author
Niki Segnit had not so much as peeled a potato until her early twenties when, almost by accident, she discovered that she loved cooking. Much as she enjoys haute cuisine, she's not likely to attempt to reproduce it at home, preferring to experiment with recipes from domestic kitchens abroad. Her background is in marketing, specializing in food and drink, and she has worked with many famous brands of candy, snacks, baby foods, condiments, dairy products, hard liquors and soft drinks. She lives in central London with her husband.
“To savor The Flavor Thesaurus fully it helps to think of its author, Niki Segnit, as a culinary marriage broker. An imaginative but practical matchmaker, she has a gift for pairing sometimes lackluster ingredients in a way that brings out the best in them and makes them more appealing as a couple than they ever were as loners… She shares an eloquent vocabulary with us in this delicious book.” —Wall Street Journal
“The cure for dinner ennui…a cheekily erudite, endlessly fascinating master list of flavor pairings both familiar and surprising…the entries get you dreaming of both exotic feasts and after-work comfort foods.” —Whole Living
“Erudite and inspiring, practical and fun, it will make you salivate, laugh, take issue and feel vindicated. Your synapses will fire in a whole new way as you trail your hand through your garden herbs … A deceptively simple little masterpiece.” —Sunday Times (UK)
“An exquisite guide to combining flavors.” —Observer (UK)
“An original and inspiring resource.” —Heston Blumenthal
“Intriguing, surprising and remarkably useful.” —Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
“The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes, And Ideas for the Creative Cook by Niki Segnit, will rival The Flavor Bible for pairing info.” —Michael Ruhlman
“For new cooks and old hands in the kitchen, this book is a must-have and a must-read. Not only are the flavor combinations and recipes offered useful, but Niki Segnit's descriptions of each and every one are delightful to read. It's a combination between a bedtime read and a kitchen companion. ” —GOOP
“For new cooks and old hands in the kitchen, this book is a must-have and a must-read. Not only are the flavor combinations and recipes offered useful, but Niki Segnit’s descriptions of each and every one are delightful to read. It’s a combination between a bedtime read and a kitchen companion.” —GOOP
“Any aspiring culinary student will find this an invaluable reference work, and many home cooks may find equal inspiration in Segnit's creative ruminations.” —Booklist
“Fascinating…a smart new reference for what goes with what, along with pithy explanations for why.” —Denver Post
“[Segnit's] intuitive approach produces a cozy collection of description, anecdotes, and recipes within the flavor combination entries…Segnit's intimate style makes the book enjoyable as well as useful. This handy little guide will be a wonderful addition for cooks trying to expand their repertoire.” —Library Journal
“One of the most fascinating food books I've come across in a long time.” —Cincinnati Enquirer